County Asks Residents To Not Travel, Host To Protect From COVID

Posted February 6, 2021 at 4:30 am by

Contributed Image/CDC

From San Juan County

As was seen in the islands over the hol­i­days and through­out this cri­sis, island res­i­dents trav­el­ing off-island or host­ing guests from off-island is far and away from the most like­ly source of COVID trans­mis­sion in San Juan County.

As most are aware, sev­er­al new vari­ants of COVID are spread­ing rapid­ly across the world. Based on cur­rent mod­els, it is expect­ed that those vari­ants will become the dom­i­nant strains of the dis­ease in Wash­ing­ton by some­time in March or ear­ly April.

While details are still com­ing into focus, these vari­ants are approx­i­mate­ly 50% more infec­tious than the cur­rent strain. Again, the sci­ence is evolv­ing and is far from defin­i­tive, but they may also result in more severe ill­ness, and may reduce the effec­tive­ness of some vaccines.

The only way these strains will make their way to San Juan Coun­ty is from infect­ed indi­vid­u­als bring­ing them to the islands.

Up to 40% of indi­vid­u­als infect­ed with COVID have no symp­toms, feel per­fect­ly healthy, and would not sus­pect that they can spread the disease.

It is almost cer­tain that the new vari­ants will cause a new and sig­nif­i­cant­ly larg­er num­ber of cases.

 Island schools are begin­ning to reopen, and case num­bers are drop­ping in Wash­ing­ton, but all of that will reverse quick­ly if steps to min­i­mize spread are not taken.

As was true over the win­ter hol­i­days, the best way to keep the islands safe is sim­ple: Don’t trav­el, don’t host. There is room for com­mon sense: going to the main­land to shop for the day is OK. Trav­el­ing in a car with your house­hold, going off-island for med­ical care, stay­ing in a vaca­tion rental with no con­tact with oth­ers- these are OK. Air­planes, stay­ing with oth­ers, social­iz­ing indoors, going to anoth­er state or coun­try, etc. – not OK.

For those islanders who insist on trav­el­ing or host­ing, please: QUARANTINE FOR TWO WEEKS UPON RETURN. DON’T GO TO WORK, DON’T SOCIALIZE, DON’T INTERACT WITH THE COMMUNITY. If these are things that you are unwill­ing or unable to do, then: DON’T TRAVEL, DON’T HOST. Employ­ers should insist on this from their employ­ees and employ­ees should do it out of respect for their co-work­ers and employers.

Don’t host or attend Super Bowl par­ties (go Chiefs!).

This isn’t easy, it isn’t fun. To date, the islands have had one of the low­est case rates in the Unit­ed States. That is true to a large degree because of the sac­ri­fice and thought­ful­ness of islanders. Let’s keep it up.

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One comment...

  1. Remem­ber four­teen days to slow the spread?

    Comment by Dave on February 6, 2021 at 6:17 am

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